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Changes to the Use Classes Order

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The Government has introduced The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No.757) which has amended the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. The new Regulations came into effect on the 1st September 2020.

The Government has introduced three new use classes and the core changes are as follows:

Class E (Commercial, business and service)

Class E subsumes the following previous use classes:

  1. Class A1 (Shops)
  2. Class A2 (Financial and professional services)
  3. Class A3 (Restaurants and cafes) or
  4. Class B1 (Business)

From the 1st September 2020, the above classes are now specified under Class E.

Class F.1 (Learning and non-residential institutions) and Class F.2 (Local community)

Class F.1 and Class F.2 subsume the following previous use classes:

  1. Class D1 (Non-residential institutions)
  2. Class D2 (Assembly and leisure)

From the 1st September, the above classes are now specified under Class F.1 and Class F.2.

In addition to the above, previous use classes that had their own use have now been moved to a ‘sui generis’ category. Examples of these classes are pubs or drinking establishments (A4), takeaways (A5), cinemas, concert halls and bingo halls (D2).

Why have the changes been made?

The Government has said they introduced these core changes to enable repurposing of buildings on high streets and town centres. The new Class E allows for a mix of uses and will allow buildings to be used flexibly by having different uses in place. Class F2 has been introduced to ensure community facilities are protected through the planning system.

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